What were they?
- Hermits were men or
women who liked to live alone in places far from anywhere.
Mountains and islands were popular places.
- A hermit lived in a
small building called a 'cell' or a 'hermitage'. There would
be a small church (British or
Saxon) or chapel next door.
- A wall around the two
formed an 'enclosure'. There was usually a well nearby.
- Hermits prayed a lot and
ate simple food. This was often given to them by a local
king. Though they might keep their own cow or some fish.
- Being a hermit was very
popular amongst the British. The Saxons preferred to live in
- Many places in Wales
begin with the word 'Llan'. This means 'church enclosure'. The
second word is usually the name of the hermit who lived there.
For example: Llanberis in North Wales means 'The church
enclosure of Peris'.
- The remains of some
British hermitages and wells can still be seen today, like at
Penmon on Anglesey. The churches were almost all rebuilt in medieval
times. An original one survives at St. Clether in Cornwall.